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The US department of Energy (DoE) has proposed $99 million in annual funding towards the operations of Energy Frontier Research Centers between 2018 and 2021.Ricky Perry, the Secretary of Energy said that Energy Frontier Research Centers will use the funding to implement research on materials sciences, chemical sciences, geosciences and biosciences.

Each center is expected to be awarded between $2 million and $4 million per annum.

The research programmes will result in the development of technologies, which will be used to optimise energy production and use in future.

“By forging leading researchers into strong, innovative teams, the Energy Frontier Research Centers can be expected to generate the energy breakthroughs that will define the future of our economic and national security,” said Perry.

The funding will be issued to universities, national laboratories, non-profit organisations and private firms to implement research in sectors including next-generation energy storage and nuclear energy.

Energy Frontier Research Centers were introduced in 2009 and have published scientific research publications which the DoE use in its operations.

For the period 2014-July 2018, the DoE is funding 36 research centers.

Smart grid funding and development

The US DoE is one of the leading investors in emerging energy technologies in comparison with financial institutions and energy departments in other countries.

Early this month, the DoE invested $10 million for research, development and testing of a solution which would help utilities to improve management of distributed energy resources and reliability of grid networks. The funds were made through the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Energy technology research and development firm PARC, Con Edison and GE will use the $10 million to improve and pilot a smart monitoring system.

The three parties will test the ability of the Transformer Assessment Intelligent System with an embedded network of sensors and optical readout (TRANSENSOR) to improve the safety of distributed grid assets through real-time monitoring. Read more...


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